Note: This was originally posted to Tumblr before posted here. Please consider helping to spread the word by reblogging the original Tumblr post here.
Fair warning: there is some slight language in this post.
My name is Jonathan Ponikvar. I’m the creator of Peter & Company and an avid cartoon fan; I have been trying (successfully or not) to draw them since I first discovered the magic of crayons and markers. Like most kids in the 80’s I grew up watching a crazy amount of cartoons. My favorites were the cartoons and films of Warner Brothers, Disney, and Don Bluth, so my earliest and crappiest of doodles always revolved around those characters in some way.
As I grew older and began seriously getting into cartooning, I noticed something odd going on around me: the cartoon animal was quickly becoming an endangered species. The animal designs of the 80’s and 90’s TV cartoons were being seen less and less in modern times within the industries that they helped create.
How could this happen? Are people just no longer interested in funny talking animals?
Not quite. Thanks to the internet-at-large and various programs that have fed into it, the term “furry” has now been assimilated into the mainstream culture. To those who actually take the time to learn the origins of the fandom, it means simply an appreciation for cartoon animal characters and the series that featured them throughout our lives. To everyone else, it roughly translates to a fandom entirely focused on sexual deviancy, including sexual activities that incorporate elaborate animal costumes.
I’m putting this out immediately: yes, there are those in the fandom who draw/do things that I won’t describe here. But you will find that same deviant minority in literally ANY fandom across the entire spectrum. In truth, the furry fandom is completely benign and filled to the brim with legitimately good people. Its members are artists, illustrators, animators, craftsmen, costume designers, puppeteers, musicians, writers, professional mascots, or just simply fans of all of the above.
When I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), I majored in Sequential Art and earned my BFA in 2007. I intended to finish my Master’s, but had to abandon those plans in 2010 when my funds ran dry. I never was able to complete my thesis, for which I had planned to cover this very subject.
So to answer one of the questions I will inevitably receive, yes, I have definitely done my homework here.
What is the problem, exactly?
The problem lies in the fact that animation companies, game developers, and film directors now seem to be actively avoiding animal character designs because of the public stigma that has been attached to the concept of “furry” characters. It’s this association with sexual deviancy that has been brought into mainstream culture and given life thanks to shows like CSI, My Strange Addiction, and even Hardcore Pawn.
This is not something that directors and studios take lightly. History has shown that those who produce original content legitimately do listen to their audience. Thanks to the advent of social media, a production studio can now release concept art or a trailer and get immediate feedback from their fans. This has been proven to often lead to drastic changes in a product’s final design, even from massive companies like Microsoft (case in point: the XBox One’s drastic shift in DRM policies).
Every comment that is left on Youtube, Kotaku, IGN, Facebook, Twitter, or any number of other channels is visible to those who create these products. Animation studios, game developers, comic publishers. Everyone.
So what do you think goes through a Director’s head when the new project trailer goes up on Youtube, and gets inundated with comments like the following:
- “Goddamn furries, they ruin everything.”
- “I was into it until I saw the furries. Nope.”
- “HAHAHA FURFAGS ARE GONNA LOVE THIS”
This situation is not hyperbole. It is a situation that is actually happening in today’s creative industries. Modern video game projects like Dust: An Elysian Tail, Freedom Planet, and even WildStar all encountered the anti-furry sentiment, even though the latter barely features it at all.
So what happens when a studio caves in to these comments and decides to create a cardinal rule that cartoon animals are to be avoided altogether? This is also happening, and I encountered it firsthand.
When I began drawing Peter & Company in 2005, I initially planned to push it for newspaper syndication — this is why the first 75 comics in the series are in a standard four-panel newspaper strip format. During the period of time between 2005 and 2007, I probably sent out close to 30 submission packets to various publishers and syndicates across the country. They all came back as rejection letters, but one of the last ones I received included a hand-written note on the letter from one of the editors. In it, he wrote the following:
"Well done, but we’re not currently accepting talking animal strips. Thank you!"
Essentially: We love the concept and the writing! Just a shame you had to go with cartoon animals, though. Make them human and we’ll talk.
You could argue that it was silly of me to not bend to the pressure and just make Peter & Company an all-human cast, but that is precisely the problem. There shouldn’t be anything WRONG with cartoon animal characters, nor should there have to be a plot-specific reason why these animals can walk and talk. I have heard the question “Why do the characters have to be animals?” so many times over the years, both from editors and from fellow artists/students, and each time I say the same thing:
So how do we fix the problem?
People think that the internet is so massive and limitless that their comments couldn’t possibly have any effect on things on a larger scale. What they fail to realize is that every comment is visible to everyone, and yes, content producers do read them.
Every time someone immediately replies to a product with animal characters with a knee-jerk anti-furry response, they are perpetuating the problem and adding to the reasons why modern studios tend to avoid the cartoon animal archetype. Every single one of these comments is keeping alive the false and unfair stigma of the anthropomorphic animal being a mascot for a sexually-deviant fandom.
This needs to stop.
I’m not expecting this post to start a revolution or anything. I’m just hoping that those who read it will understand the problem and put forth an effort to help stop others from keeping it alive. Whenever you see someone making one of these blind comments, they need to understand what they are actually doing, and that they are the reason why modern kids aren’t growing up with the same quality of cartoons as we did.
You know, kids LOVE this kind of thing
There, I said it, and now I feel much better inside.
I know this isn’t sexualised but the majority of furry art is, nobody with a healthy mind wants tomsee an animal with huge breasts and curves and being portrayed in a sexual way.... because it’s an animal!
Now going into the bestiality aspect you mentioned I can say that the reason bestiality is considered wrong or taboo is because of the fact that pretty much all animals under humans do not have the knowledge or ability to consent to sexual advances. They are simpler and more instinctive creatures in enough ways that they have no way of communicating to us on our level outside of certain basic sounds and gestures that we can observe and interperate. This makes consent impossible in a similar way to human children as they don't really understand whats happening in the same way most adult humans do so it's a violation of their self for an adult human to interact with them in that way. Not only that but our biologic parts aren't made to interact in that way what with different sizes between species and... etc... I'm sure you get what I mean. 👍 That harmfulness plays a big role in that argument as well. (Im not going to go into the different levels of animal intelligence because this is already getting longer than I wanted)
Basicly I can understand your unease but I can also say the sexual furry stuff is completely harmless if you look at it closer psychologically. Now if you feel that two people of the same biologic intelligence level have no business being together because one is alien in appearance to the other then I don't know what to tell you. Regardless NO sane person looks at their pet cat in the same way they look at a humanized one, and/or an adult person of their same species/intelligence level. If they do then they need some serious psychological help.
and if someone somehow finds them sexually attractive then that’s basically just as bad as finding a four legged animal sexually attractive.
I remember I once knew a guy that found Krystal from the starfox games attractive, it was disgusting to say the least.
he reconsidered after how many people told him that it was bestiality and she was an animal and I’m glad he did because if his obsession kept going he would have probably carried out his desires on a real world animal.
If someone you knew finding Krystal from Star Fox appealing is all you have to argue this then I have a story to top that. I knew someone when I was a sophomore in high school (who was not a part of the furry fandom) who claimed to everyone he could that he ligit fingered his cat... No joke. I wish it were. When people retaliated against him about that being fucked up (wich it is) he qiuckly shut up and rejected that he even said it. Whether or not he actually did I don't know nore do I care to... Thinking a being of equal human intelligence is beautiful/handsom/sexy is not the same as wanting to fuck a real life fox or any other lower level, unable to actually give consent, animal. If someone sees a picture of an anthro cat and later goes home to fuck their family pet they obviously have problems and would have done this regardless. Just as someone finding a human being attractive doesn't give them the right to go out and force sex on anyone they want to. Using something you saw on the internet as an excuse to do something you know is harmful and out of context from the original content is just that, an excuse, a scapegoat to the fact that they would have done so regardless. I've known 20+ people at least in my lifetime who either enjoyed anthro art/movies/literature of some kind in various ways or didn't give a shit about it, who, if they were to witness or hear of you bragging about fucking an animal would be the first in line to beat and/or attempt to kill you. So the whole "it's a slippery slope" ideology you're trying to imply is already blown out of the water by me and the majority of an entire comunity that I don't even follow much.
This is all the more I have to say on this topic. I know you've only been on this site for a little bit wich implies you're either young, a trollolol or both for the sake of bordom, bordom leads to many things. Regardless, if you're going to post anything on this site to back up your views besides comments on other peoples art, it should probably be stamps/journals or at least your own content. This isn't tumbler so reposting art you agree with can still get your account shut down even if you and the original person share the same views.
I’m not a troll or a child, just a healthy minded human being with common sense that wants to voice their opinion.
and as far as the guy sexually abusing his cat goes that’s absolutely disgusting. and another point is that I have no major problem with the furry community and I admit they can make some great content and the concept of anthropomorphic animals is cool and unique ....
but when it comes to sexualising an animal of all things, an animal has no concept or understanding of human emotions or thought processes and hasn’t got the ability to consent.
so when someone takes said animal and depicts it in a sexual way then that is downright mental illness hands down.
The fact that someone can find this.
sexually attracive let alone take the time to make this really says a lot about the state of their mind.
sexualising animals is wrong and anthropomorphic or not it’s still an animal.
I try to lean towards the impression he was just saying it to brag and didn't really do it. He was a freshmen and some can be pretty dumb with any idea they get ahold of. Knew plenty who thought they were all that cuz they were "from da hood" or "already banged a zillion girls at 13. Mostly its ooh! Look at me talk.
I have no real problem's with furries either. I've always liked anthro. The artwork is often beautiful, many of the costumes are too and some of the engineering that goes in to them is incredible. Most of what I've seen is amazing and original. Im a sucker for Star Fox, Sly Cooper, and Spyro. Some of the best games I've played overall. I don't like the yiff shit though I agree with you there... Not so much because of them being animal like, as I've already stated my opinion of their differences in psychology and mentality from animals, but because often times its just plain vulgar bullshit that goes too far. Smut for the sake of smut and shock. I really don't care for fetish art in general so seeing an anthro character like Krystal with a gigantically disproportionate ass and tits with her pussy hanging out just sort ofinsults me. And it gets more views for being teen shock art than the better done clean or even deep romantic art in the fandom. But I can say the same for any character human or not. I don't have an overall problem with nudity, I've looked at more nekked anatomy refs than I can count to study so that does nothing to me. Two anthros being cuddly as a couple doesn't bug me. To me it just shows they love eachother as a couple and have a sensual bond as such. As for what you showed me that is an odd and... Not to be rude to the creator but kinda bad picture. Like whats going on with her even??
I agree regardless that sexualizing an actual animal is wrong. No doubt. Mostly they would be like children and wouldn't understand. Any one I've met who was a furry also agreed with that though. Thats my point. It's one thing to find a conceptually fictional human in an altered form attractive in some way, but its another entirely to want to go out and find a real fox to fuck because you think a fictional humanoid is hawt. The differences between the two don't compute properly and shouldn't. If they do then that person has some serious issues. Like what I said about wanting to fuck a chimp dispite it being an actual animal because we share a common ancestor and they look familiar. Honestly one of the worst cases I've had the horror of coming across in regards to actual bestiality "art" was a picture of an underaged pokemon trainer jacking off their vaporeon... It disgusted me to no end, especially because it was purposely portraying both as unable to comprehend what exactly they were doing. That right there was a wtf were you thinking making this picture moment for me.
The words animals and children are two words that should never be used in the same sentence as “I want to fuck”
what are you doing. why are you doing it. youre putting up a fight for something that happens in literally EVERY fandom. yeah, maybe the are animals but ya know its not really that nice of you to be kink shaming someone for something they find interesting or cool. I am not apart of literally the 5% of the fandom that likes/views they content. I say if you like it ya like it and that's that, don't force it on anybody else or make them uncomfortable. youre literally getting no where, there is a problem with 5 PRECENT of the fandom, the rest if fine. so stop putting up a fight you know that youre A, gonna loose and B, don't really have a right of starting.
have a good day or whatever
and I’m not kink shaming as it’s not a kink it’s a mental illness.
you can get off to whatever you want but there’s a point where a line has to be drawn and both bestiality and pedophillia crosses, leave animals and children out of it.
as someone whos been a victum of it I do not think its okay,
nobody wants to see that side of the fandom believe me, no one whos scrolling down DA or tumblr WANTS to see that unless they search for it.
but youre acting like everyone in the fandom is apart of this soooo that's where I stepped in to say HEY NO.
this is the internet. weird people do weird things and share and draw it. sorry you are so butt hurt by peoples choices lmao. what I'm saying about that side of the fandom is that hey, if you want to draw that. do it. don't force it on me or anyone else. post it on a private blog or account so its not everywhere. then okay! you do that, I'm not into it but you do it.
however I do NOT see this for everything!! for youre example pedophilia I believe that everyone who views and takes part in that should be SHUT DOWN. bestiality as well, animals should not be put through that torture, they don't have a voice and therefore cant say no or consent. I do not support nor condone such actions towards animals and children.
and I will admit that there is plenty of good furry based art that isn’t like that, but more often than not most of it is sexualised to a degree.
I know cartoons like Bugs Bunny had him dress in drag but that was funny as it was a joke, but when people legitimately get turned on by seing an animal like that then there is something far wrong.
then movies started sexualising animals like space jam, and as of recent Zootopia which I honestly felt uncomfortable watching at some points, not to mention video games do it too, starfox and sly cooper, Crash bandicoot and Ratchet and Clank have had sexualised depictions of ANIMALS! you seriously have to wonder what the developers directors and producers are into when they make and approve those kind of things.
Is it because they're weird? (people)
Or because it's already in their minds that it's sexual???
Let's say for example, a puppy that hugs and has a body language similar to a human (like nodding, wink, etc) , I guess it's considered a furry, cause it's an animal that acts like a human. But is that even harmful or sexual????? Pffff Im out of here ;-;
What if I told you they're furry boobs